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Subject: Re: [office-comment] ODF documents not searchable with an external program

Stan <stan2890@gmail.com> wrote on 08/31/2008 07:13:58 AM:
> Hi,
> What is your opinion about the following:
> I save a odt document with Open Office Writer.
> After some time I am looking on my computer for a document. I do not 
> know its name but I do know a fairly unique word in the document. So 
> I use explorer (Windows) or something with grep or an equivalent 
> (Linux) to find the documents containing the word. In that way I can 
> find the document I am looking for.
> Unfortunately documents made in ODF format are not included in the 
> result from the search because the contents is not in the clear in 
> the document.

Hi Stan, this is off-topic for the office-comment list.  The purpose of 
this list is to report comments on the ODF standard itself, not to discuss 
ODF applications.  The "opendocument-users" list would be more appropriate 
for questions like this.

In any case, the reason why ODF search results are not showing up has 
nothing to do with the ODF format not being clear-text.  I bet your search 
results include DOC, XLS, and PPT files, and they are not stored in clear 
text, right?

The only reason ODF files are not being indexed is because Microsoft has 
not included that support by default.  Luckily you can add this support by 
downloading and installing an "IFilter" that adds knowledge of ODF to 
Windows Desktop Search.  I haven't tried this (I use Google Desktop Search 
which handles ODF files fine) but you might look here for a start:  

> When I open an odt document with notepad (Windows) or Leafpad (Linux) 
> and all I see is garbage, in Office 95 format I can see and read the 
> contents. I find this a very big, killing, disadvantage of the ODF!

ODF != plain text.  If you try to load a Word file into notepad you'll 
have a similar issue.

> In my case, after discovering this, to my disappointment, I am 
> migrating back to Microsoft Office 95 and the Office 95 format (Open 
> Office also makes much lager documents in Office 95 format as Office 
> 95 it self does (about 10 times for a document containing one 
> character), a disadvantage of Open Office.

Do you find many uses for one character documents?

In any case, every tool has its domain of applicability.  If you are a 
command line warrior and live by grep and emacs, then ODF may not be for 
you.  ODF is not a replacement for ASCII TXT files.


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